Electrical Storms and Lightning Safety

Electrical Storms ... Avoid the Shock of Your Life

When you first see lightning or hear thunder, activate your personal emergency plan. Don't have one? Read on! Lightning often precedes rain, so don't wait for the rain to begin before suspending outdoor activities.

Caught outdoors?

  • Avoid water, high ground and open spaces.
  • Avoid all metal objects including electric wires, fences, machinery, motors, power tools, etc. Unsafe places include underneath canopies, small picnic or rain shelters, or near trees.
  • Where possible, find shelter in a substantial building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle such as a car, truck or van with the windows completely shut.

Lightning striking nearby while you're outside?

  • Crouch down. Put feet together. Place hands over ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.
  • Stay away from other people (minimum of 15 feet).
  • Suspend activities for 30 minutes after the last observed lightning or thunder.
  • Injured persons do not carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely. Call 911 or send for help immediately. Apply First Aid or CPR procedures to a lightning victim if you are qualified to do so.

National Lightning Safety Institute